Pentagon planners have begun work on a fallback position for
The "surge" proposed in January by PresidentGeorge W. Bush calls for sending 21,500 additional combat troops and severalthousand more support forces in order to pacify
But citing unnamed military officials and Pentagonconsultants, the newspaper said the alternative strategy was based in part onthe
During the 1981-1992 El Salvador civil war, the
The report said that some historians believed that theirpresence had helped the
A drawdown of forces in
Such a plan would also be close to the recommendations ofthe Iraq Study Group, of which Gates was a member before his appointment to thePentagon, the paper said.
"This part of the world has an allergy against foreignpresence," the report quotes a senior Pentagon official as saying of
"You have a window of opportunity that is relativelyshort. Your ability to influence this with a large US force eventually gets tothe point that it is self-defeating."
The new round of planning is taking place in an atmosphereof extraordinary tension within the Pentagon, The Times said.
Some support the new commander in
Meanwhile, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Peter Pacehas made several references to
The senior Pentagon official said Pace's repeated referenceswere a signal that in the chairman's view, success in Iraq might not depend onmore combat troops, according to the report.
Iraqi soldiers move into British base
Iraqi soldiers have raised their flag above a British basein the southern city of
Elements of the 10th Division of the Iraqi Army have joinedtheir British colleagues from the Staffordshire Regiment in the Shatt al-ArabHotel, a town centre stronghold which comes under frequent militia mortarattack.
In the coming weeks and months British troops are to pullout of two bases inside
British troops will also continue to protect the consulatelocated in central
The 7,200-strong force is to be reduced by at least 1,500 bythe end of August and could be cut by up to half by the end of the year.Meanwhile, the locally-recruited 10th division will fill the gaps.
"The first elements of the Iraqi Army's 10th Divisionmoved in the middle of least week. There is an Iraqi flag flying over the Shattal-Arab hotel," British army spokesman Major David Gell said.
"This is another important step for the Iraqi army asthey develop their capabilities and gradually take more responsibility fortheir own security.
"It is pleasing that the move went so smoothly andoffers encouraging signs for the future as everybody continues down the roadtowards Iraqi self reliance," he added.
The British force's four-year-old mission to pacify the cityhas been hampered by armed clashes between rival tribes and political Shiitemilitias, the brutality and corruption of the local police and insurgentattacks.
At least 132 British soldiers have died since the March 2003invasion led by US and British forces and their bases still come under almostdaily mortar or rocket attack.Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16